Tuesday, June 29, 2010

MI5: Russian Spies Interested in the U.K's Energy policies and New Technologies

"Russia is interested in particular in the energy policies of the west, given the importance of its own oil and natural gas reserves, and the Kremlin's determination to use them as an instrument of foreign policy, [counter-intelligence] officials said. Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, is a former chairman of Gazprom, Russia's giant energy company"---The U.K. Guardian (6-29-10)

The Security Service (MI5) is responsible for protecting the United Kingdom against threats to national security. According to the MI5 site:

The threat of espionage (spying) did not end with the collapse of Soviet communism in the early 1990s. Espionage against UK interests continues from many quarters.

In the past, espionage activity was typically directed towards obtaining political and military intelligence. In today's high-tech world, the intelligence requirements of a number of countries now include new communications technologies, IT, genetics, aviation, lasers, optics, electronics and many other fields. Intelligence services, therefore, are targeting commercial enterprises far more than in the past.

The UK is a high priority espionage target and a number of countries are actively seeking UK information and material to advance their own military, technological, political and economic programmes.

We estimate that at least 20 foreign intelligence services are operating to some degree against UK interests. Of greatest concern are the Russians and Chinese. The number of Russian intelligence officers in London has not fallen since Soviet times.

The threat against UK interests is not confined to the UK itself. A foreign intelligence service operates best in its own country and some may therefore find it easier to target UK interests at home, where they can control the environment and where we may let our guard drop.

The U.K. Guardian (6-29-10) reports that Russian spies focus on the U.K.'s energy policies as well as new technologies:

The uncovering of the spy ring in the US is unlikely to surprise MI5. In recent years the agency has been building up its counter-espionage arm against Russian and other foreign spies for the first time since the end of the cold war, according to counter-intelligence officials...

Russia is interested in particular in the energy policies of the west, given the importance of its own oil and natural gas reserves, and the Kremlin's determination to use them as an instrument of foreign policy, the officials said. Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, is a former chairman of Gazprom, Russia's giant energy company...

MI5 says on its website: "We estimate that at least 20 foreign intelligence services are currently operating in the UK against UK interests. The Russian and Chinese intelligence services are particularly active, and currently present the greatest concern."
It adds: "The threat of espionage (spying) did not end with the collapse of Soviet communism in the early 1990s. Espionage against UK interests continues from many quarters."


"In the past, espionage activity was typically directed towards obtaining political and military intelligence. In today's high-tech world, the intelligence requirements of a number of countries now include new communications technologies, IT, genetics, aviation, lasers, optics, electronics and many other fields. Intelligence services, therefore, are targeting commercial enterprises far more than in the past".

MI5 continues: "The UK is a high priority espionage target and a number of countries are actively seeking UK information and material to advance their own military, technological, political and economic programmes."

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